The Chocolate Festival 2015, London

I mentioned before that I went to the yummy Chocolate Festival last weekend, and had a pretty fun time seeing chocolate being shaped into amazing things, as well as trying different flavours and new skills.

I took a good few hundreds of pictures, so apologies in advance for all of the photos below, but I wanted to post all the amazing stuff I saw which caught my eye, and which was being displayed.

I’ll start off with the amazing sculpted and shaped chocolate pieces which were for sale, and which we ended up buying a few of because we liked them so much, and the prices were reasonable!

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There was plenty of talent on display, such as these chocolate moulds of celebrities’ faces, and which made me wonder whether it would be worth getting one done myself! (Probably  not, my husband would just eat it).

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I loved the other types of treats which were available, from Turkish Delight, candied nuts, fudges, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, marshmallow pieces and biscuits, which were all displayed in abundance for sale. Suffice to say, we bought a few of these as well!

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There were also gorgeous macarons and beautiful treats which were almost too pretty to eat. There were a lot of beautiful boxes of decorated chocolate pieces and hand-painted, luxurious chocolates which were a little more pricey, but made amazing presents or would look lovely for an event or afternoon tea.

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And of course, I have to mention the plenty of samples to taste at almost every stall we stopped at! We tasted mango fudge, blueberry fudge, chewy cookies, passionfruit flavoured chocolate and lots more, and it was pretty fun to try something new and see what we could add to our palate.

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We also made a quick visit to the cheese and wine tasting section, although this wasn’t really our bag so we didn’t stay that long, but we did enjoy looking at all the different types (and sizes!) of the cheeses.

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We also found a lot of other treats which we thought were amazing, such as the chocolate samosas (which I wanted to bring home and trick someone with, but didn’t end up doing!) and the Shakespeared Heroine chocolates, where each flavour of chocolate was named after a heroine from a play.

We had a pretty amazing time at the show, and went home feeling pretty satisfied with what we’d seen (and eaten). We had fun with the free photobooths which were available, and spent a nice day indulging ourselves (which I had been waiting to do all week!), and took plenty of photos. This is the first chocolate festival I’ve been to, and it was nice to see the different varieties and talents which are out there, which you don’t see in the usual stores. There was also another cake show the next day in another location which we wanted to go to as well, but we had a family wedding and couldn’t make it, but it’s made me want to go to more foodie festivals to discover new flavours and tastes!

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Weekend Pretty…Ring Bling and Orange

I’ve been enjoying the sunshine tremendously this weekend, and making the most of it by sitting in the grass in my back garden, camera in hand. This is a picture I took today on my DSLR (while also jumping around in the grass and making my neighbours pretend they can’t see me. Oops.) I think it’s a perfect way to show how summer is coming, even if it’s still a little chilly, the sun (and the sound of the ice cream vans) makes it all better.

On another note, it’s International Women’s Day, which makes it an even better day, especially when seeing all the contributions online from all over the world in celebration of women and equality. The official colour for this day is purple, but I’ll add a little pink and orange in too to give a funky combination!

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A Little Sublime

…goes a long way this weekend. I thought I’d try my hand at trying to photograph my pretty things in an arty way, and this was one of my favourites (my husband said it looks a little strange because the top of the shoes got cut off, and that the heels look huge, but never mind). I love seeing the artistic shots of ordinary and girly things that photographers take, and wanted to try something similar with one of my favourite pair of shoes.

The sparkle on the heels are my favourite bit, although I love the colour this came out in the muted sunlight too!

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My Mehndi Night!

Mehndi laga ke rakhna, doli saja ke rakhna
Lene tujhe o gorii aaeynge tere sajana

Put your henna on and keep the wedding palanquin decorated.
Beautiful girl, your beloved will come to take you away.

My mehndi (or Henna) night was a really special night, and one which was surpringly fun for me because of all the silly posing, dancing and amazing cakes and food we had. I’ll be posting more pictures soon, but thought I’d post a picture which sums up the night for me in a pretty simple way – this is me doing twirls outside my mehndi hall and enjoying myself in the street!

More pictures coming soon once I get more of the professional ones!

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Our Eid-al-Adha – Flowery dresses, twirling babies and rainbow balloons

We celebrated Eid-al-Adha this weekend, which was a special Eid for me as it was the first one for me after marriage, and meant that I could spend time with the family and also with my husband. We were invited to dinner at my eldest sister’s house, and also for lunch at my mum’s house the next day, so we had a busy dance card!

One of the best things about celebrating Eid is that it’s always a fun day, the family gets together from all over London (and Luton!) and there’s always good food. I love the spirit in the air as well, the younger children are excited about presents, sweets and new clothes, and the bigger kids (i.e. us) are excited about dressing up, good food and seeing all the babies!

Below is just some of the decor from my sister‘s house, which she always makes an effort to put up every year for Eid – I love the fairy lights and the rainbow balloons!

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The highlight of the day as usual was the beautifully cooked food, from both my mum and my sister (my husband left both houses rubbing his stomach and eyeing up more helpings he couldn’t fit into his stomach!) My mum makes it a rule to always have a feast for Eid every year, and she didn’t disappoint this year either – there was plenty of variety and plenty of curries, starters and sweet dishes!

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And of course, for Eid isn’t complete without some beautiful dresses, which I was spoiled with this year, as my mother-in-law sent me a beautiful set of outfits and my mum bought me a new outfit for Eid. My sisters and sister-in-law looked amazing on the day with their new outfits, and the nieces even more adorable in their party dresses which they spend the day twirling around in (I won’t bother mentioning the dress code of men of the family cos…frankly, we don’t look at what they wear) Here’s a look at some of the beautiful outfits we wore on Eid:

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My husband and I ended Eid day with dinner at his best friend’s house, followed by a sneaky late-night movie at the local cinema (which was actually very good!) The whole day was a warm, low-key gathering which was perfect for us, easy to relax followed by a vain session of taking photos in various angles!
I hope you all had a wonderful Eid and weekend, and if you don’t celebrate Eid then I hope you still see the beauty I do in Eid – not only an opportunity to spend time with friends, family and have good food, but also a chance to reflect on the year to come and to remember how lucky we are.

Eid Mubarak and Hajj Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak and Hajj Mubarak everyone, I hope this is an amazing Eid for you, regardless of what you are doing (amd on which day!). I’d also like to give a quick reminder for everyone to remember and keep in your prayers all those who aren’t as fortunate in your prayers, such as people of Palestine, Syria, Burma, Iraq, Bangladesh, Rohingya, Afghanistan and all the other innocent people who are being persecuted in today’s time.

Heres a banner made by my eldest sister Happy Muslimah for Eid, her house was colourfully decorated today which set the mood nicely, not to mention all the yummy food and good company we’ve had today! We have another family dinner tomorrow as well which I’m looking forward too, so more more photos coming soon! Please do tell me how your day was as well !

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Eid-ul-Fitr 2014…Food Mubarak!

Eid has come after a month of fasting, which admittedly was a lot more tiring than we all realised. But at the end of it all, we are sad to see it go, as so many things are happening around the world which has put a lot of things into perspective for us.

I completely forgot to take any pictures of food for once, it was too busy going into my mouth rather than being captured by my lens, but be assured that it was good food, with good company!

Here’s a few snaps of our days, we had babies running around looking cute and mischievous, lots of amazing food, a bbq out in the garden and as always, lots of laughs and gossip.

Hope your Eid was a nice as ours, I wish I had more pictures to share!

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Cloudy Mirrors

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
Khalil Gibran

I love mixing two mediums, surfaces and colours together, particularly with photography and have been experimenting with this recently, using jewellery, mirrors and beautiful patterns. This is something I did recently, a compact mirror reflecting a cloudy sky, hinting at something philosophical and whimsical. Neither the mirror nor the clouds dominate the picture, and you’re left with something that feels almost like a painting.

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These beautiful gemstone compact mirrors are available to buy here.